Bhairavi Mahavidya - She is the Fierce One
She Who is Fierce in the Three Worlds: Heavens, Atmosphere, and Earth. Her primary role in the cosmic process is destruction.
She has three eyes and is lovely in her various ornaments. She is the Destroyer of Enemies. She is seen accompanied by a large black jaguar, or a majestic lion. She wears vibrant red clothes and is seated on a corpse throne.
Bhairavi Devi ( aka Tripura-Bhairavi) arises or becomes present when the body declines and decays, which is a natural, inevitable, and irresistible force. She is also evident in self-destructive habits, such as eating food, drinking liqueur, lust, anger, and jealousy. All of these habits in form of selfish behavior attract her presence.
Bhairavi’s fierce, terrible, or destructive nature arises at the end of a cosmic cycle, during which all things having been consumed by fire, are dissolved in the formless waters of pre-creation. She is the force that tends toward dissolution. This force is present in each person as one gradually ages, weakens, and finally dies. Destruction is apparent everywhere, therefore, Bhairavi is present everywhere.
As a Mahavidya – Bhairavi is one of ten aspects spiraling out from the source of Parvati, in essence, they are all one. The ten Mahavidias have been known as a group since the early medieval period (post 10th-century ce), though many of these aspects were known before this time.
The cluster of Mahavidyas as a whole reveals a fascinating spectrum of wisdom instruction. In some instances: outrageous, mocking, and insulting, in others; light and gentle. These awakeners are antimodels, they strike at the root of ignorance by any means possible. (Kinsley)
The Goddess of Many Forms
Bhairavi has many forms at her disposal, more so than any other Mahavidya. She is a multifaceted and complete goddess who is not limited to being the embodiment of destruction. In the guise of her many forms, she grants blessings. She grants food. She gives riches. She Who Grants Every Perfection. She Destroys All Fears. She Gives Awakened Consciousness. She Who is Present in Creation and Engenders Growth. She Kindles Sexual Desire and Grants Sexual Satisfaction.
In one of her mantras it says she is intoxicated with her youth and is very attractive, young, and shapely. Her association with sexual desire is evident – She Who Dwells in the Yoni.
Her flower arrows are used to empower devotees in the arts of love. Each of the flower arrows produces an intoxicating emotion of love and desire: i.e. excessive agitation, a melting sensation, an irresistible attraction to another, and stupefaction.
The Heros Journey
Worship of Bhairavi is rare given her particularly fierce nature. Only those of a heroic nature would dare worship Bhairavi. Hers is the left-hand path, and the only other goddess to be so worshiped is Chinnamasta. Only those with the quality of the hero will undertake the left-handed path.
The inner meaning of her name Bhairavi; is to create, to protect, and/or to emit. Therefore she is directly identified with the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction. Her consort is, from a cosmic perspective, Bhairava; an equally ferocious aspect of Shiva.
References: Ten Mahavidias – Kinsley
Art Credit: RAW-SundariStudio
Lunar Cycle: Crescent Moon Sighting in the LION
Shakti Diagram Invocation: Use the Shakti Diagram – gaze at her position. Aim your attention on your heart center. Speak with reverence and respect. Repeat 3x as below. She will see you, and hear you.